SUMMER 2019’S BIGGEST MENSWEAR TRENDS
Our summer wardrobes all have a core of basics – a few tees, camp collars, shorts, lightweight jeans, and vests. Neutrals even everything out, but a pattern or a pop of colour adds the panache that tans, white, and navy just don’t have. Although this foundation lets you pass the time, let’s be realistic. It’s dull, uninspired, and just a level above the guy always decked out in jorts and whatever random tees he’s got stashed away. Yet, between practical and Lacroix-level frivolousness, the most in-the-moment trends sit, waiting to be dabbled with, if not explored a touch a further. So, as Summer 2019 officially starts, here’s what’s on our radar.
Tailored for Summer
Have you heard? The suit is back. We’re being facetious, though, to a fault. The suit didn’t really go away (how else would you dress for a job interview or a wedding?). It just got a trendier look, courtesy of a streetwear-lite makeover. Summer’s ripe for exploring this revival. On the more classic end, you can bask in single- and double-breasted silhouettes with season-friendly materials. You’re well acquainted with the usual suspects: Breathable, lightweight linen that helps with controlling sweat, cotton seersucker, and unlined, somewhat cropped silhouettes meant to complement decadent, effervescent pastels. Past menswear’s comfort zone, there’s the wide-cut, moderately baggy suit, usually with an exaggerated double-breasted front cutting clear across your torso. And, if you’ve got the figure for it, go shirtless. When it’s pushing 90, button-fronts seem overrated.
A Shorter, Slimmer Short
While some style forecasters claim 2019 is the year of the knee-length short, itself an exaggerated version of a mid-‘90s basketball style, the above-the-knee fit, ideally closely cut, says otherwise. You’ve known for a while to keep your cargos in the closet, and for the past few years, the flat-front chino silhouette, ideally with a hint of stretch, got you going places. Whether you’re pining for some runway styles or checking out a Topman lookbook, the fact is, the default hem is a little higher this year, and stripes, florals, and Hawaiian prints have replaced the usual khakis and greys. Try it out with a polo or go top-to-bottom bold with co-ords.
Some Sage Advice
Sometimes, it’s not bad right at the middle of the road. Although we associate that concept with mediocrity, this sweet, perfectly balanced spot is a bit of everything, without being too much of anything. Right on the money, Sage Green pulls from military trends – you’ll see hints of olive – and those off-shoot woodland shades, like forest, bottle, and yellow green. Yet, you’ll also spot some soft, pastel overtones, and at times, you’ll feel like you’re staring through a piece of well-worn sea glass, with its hazy opaqueness. Big picture, this perspective ensures the most mileage (and longevity, if it’s lucky). Try sage as a low-key shirt colour, an ocean-swept green for your trousers, or even an understated pop for your footwear.
Wider, Lighter, Off-Kilter
We’re talking shirts, in this instance. Specifically, Summer 2019’s strive for unpredictability. Wider widths? The better it drapes, especially if it’s made out of viscose, linen, or organza. And, on the topic of organza, ultra-light, nearly transparent materials take the lace trend from a year or so ago up a notch, to the point where your shirt appears nearly ornamental. Then, there’s the embellished, asymmetrical elements popping up all over, from uneven sleeves and hems to ruffles, cross-front details, and, yes, lace panelling. All in all, the combination makes your camp collar in an animal print seem ordinary.
This isn’t your power-clashing combination, with one or two colours tying everything together. Rather, the classic Versace pattern is now a full-blown trend across all echelons of men’s and women’s fashion. Likely fuelled by the brand reviving its own patterns and American Crime Story revisiting the late designer’s legacy last year, the Versace-esque print is a paradox: Seemingly hastily cobbled together yet bizarrely cohesive, almost like a pattern-free charm bracelet. In this case, you’ll spot anything from Greek key geometrics for structure, animal and snakeskin prints, checkerboards, winding chain-like borders, floral aspects, and heavy-duty colour-blocking. Of all the ‘90s trends to return, this one feels like it comes right out of left field, yet with everything from the decade already retread, it’s the most fresh and the least hokey.
Not white. Nor acid wash. But, bleached a bit creates that precisely faded denim dichotomy – one in which you can make out the indigo dye, but it’s just a trace. Instead, lighter washes – on jeans, jackets, and shirts – have that sitting-out-in-the-sun look, after you theoretically would have taken a dip in the ocean. The UV rays and salt have gotten to it, but they’re jeans that – at least by impression – you would’ve already broken in. Thus, rather than dark indigo’s right-off-the-hanger stiffness, these appear like you have a story, of sorts, to tell.